I had an opportunity recently to go on a test drive. To put you in the picture, the snow and chaos surrounding it in December, made me revisit my aspiration of having a 4×4. One, I need one, having two dogs and a horse. The bad weather proved I did, as anyone owning a horse knows you have to be there day and night, no matter what the weather and my car just wasn’t up to driving through inches of snow.
So through the power of Twitter, after having made a few comments about snow driving and being pulled out of snow drifts by tractors, @jamesbt_uk made contact. He’s the Centre Principal of Listers Toyota (Lincoln) and a lovely chap. He offered me the chance to come drive a Rav 4 and see what I thought of it. The other vehicle I’d considered was the Landrover Freelander, but I had heard too many negative comments about them, which put me off. Sorry Landrover – though I do hear the recent models are not so problematic!
After a few phone calls, I found myself over the Christmas period in Lincoln. I have to say I was nervous. The vehicle was an automatic and I’d not driven one of those for ten years and it was a very expensive vehicle. I’m not used to driving prestige cars that cost around £26,000! I had nothing to fear. The team were fantastic, in particular Charlie, who answered my questions and showed me round the vehicle, before it was my turn. I had this vehicle for the day and what a treat!
I have to say it handled beautifully in the city and in the countryside and was a very quiet, comfortable ride. I was bowled over by it. If I were a motoring journalist I’d be talking about its horse power and how it rolls or whatever. I can tell you I loved the back seats, which moved. So if you had a leggy back passenger or needed more room in the boot it was ideal. Also you had 80 litres of additional stowage under the boot carpet/floor and at a flick of a button, the back seats folded flat. Very handy as I hate having to climb into the back of the car and remove headrests and fiddle about lowering rear seats. In the front there was a nifty glove box, which also acted as a cool box – handy for your lipstick! I don’t like lipstick when it melts. One thing I forgot to mention is its intelligent all wheel drive, which I believe means that it detects what surface you’re on and shifts accordingly into four wheel or “normal” drive. Oh and it had headlights and wipers, which came on automatically and had many other cool features, including heated front seats, which impressed my passenger.
I have to say it is on my wish list – not a new one, but definitely a second-hand one. Now you’re probably wondering what has test driving a Rav 4 got to do with East Coast Media and journalism? It’s all to do with that word “test drive”.
Before signing up for any degree course, you need to get a feel for what it is you’re going into and signing up for. Ensure that the degree is what you want to do. Do you really want to be a journalist? Where do you see yourself in five years time? Who do you aspire to work for?
Talk to tutors, meet current students and if the institution has an open day, go visit and look round. Do you envisage yourself living there for three years? Do you like the place? Do the staff have industry experience? What type of equipment will you be expected to use? Do you get your hands on the equipment? Some places, students don’t actually get to use equipment or very rarely see it. Ask questions, as many as you can. Find out about the course and what they offer to deliver. If there is a chance to do a “test drive”, ie go on a taster day, then do it. Unless you try, you’ll never know whether it is for you.
You don’t want to end up making an expensive mistake and regretting the choice you made later. So look out for taster days at East Coast Media. I’ve been going into schools and working with A level students on multi-platform journalism “test drives”. I’ll blog about these, so you can see the type of things we do.
Don’t forget for more information on the BA Multi-Platform Journalism degree at East Coast Media contact 01472 315550 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
PS. Here’s the new RAV 4, which I had the opportunity to drive. For more information on the RAV here’s the link http://tinyurl.com/6l4uc2l and for information on Listers at Lincoln http://tinyurl.com/6ho4aob
By the way, just in case you want to know, interesting fact: RAV 4 stands for Recreational Active Vehicle with 4 wheel drive
PPS. I added some extra detail about the vehicle, for those that might, by chance, think this is a motoring blog!